In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,
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Sunday, November 28, 2004 7:30 Am
morning, this is Drew Hardesty with the
There are two upcoming
benefits for our partners The Friends of the
totals across the range are 12-18” in the
fewer folks were out in the backcountry yesterday due to the heavy snowfall and
poor visibility, but those that did reported pockety avalanching in the new
snow as well as continued collapsing and remotely
triggered avalanches up to 18” deep.
Also of interest was a southerly wind event for an hour or so in the
morning that produced two naturals off one of the higher peaks along the LCC/AF
ridgeline as well as two natural hard slab avalanches off the
Today’s problems will be three-fold: first will be sluffing in the new light density snow on the steepest slopes that shouldn’t have a problem entraining a ton of snow. Second are the newly formed wind slabs along the higher elevations from the northwesterly winds, and lastly are the inevitable problems we’ll have with avalanches breaking into the buried facet/crust layers formed in earlier November. Avalanches stepping into these persistent weak layers will likely be larger than expected while possibly triggering other avalanches, and may pull out after the person is already out on the slab. Unusual conditions like these require caution and humility. The icing on the cake is for forecasted strong winds (30-40mph) out of the northeast by mid-to late afternoon. If the winds verify, then I would expect a widespread natural and human triggered cycle. Stay tuned, and watch for changing conditions.
Bottom Line: There is a CONSIDERABLE danger on any steep slope with recent deposits of wind drifted snow. Human triggered avalanches will be probable. Mid and upper elevation northwest clockwise to southeast facing slopes are those favored for stepping into old snow. If the winds pick up as expected, the danger will quickly rise to HIGH.
We should see another hour or two of showery weather as the storm system moves to the east. Ridgetop winds should be 15-25mph from the north today before increasing to strong out of the northeast. 8000’ highs will be in the low teens with 10,000’ temps in the low single digits. Ridging moves in later tonight, with another disturbance possible about mid-week.
If you are getting out, drop us a line or an email with any reports or observations from the backcountry. You can leave us a message at 524-5304 or 1 800-662-4140. Email us at [email protected], or send a fax to 524-6301.
The information in this advisory is from the US Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.